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Yelena P. Wu, PhD

Languages spoken: English

Academic Information

Departments: Dermatology - Associate Professor, Pediatrics - Adjunct Associate Professor, Population Health Sciences - Adjunct Assistant Professor

Divisions: Cancer Population Science, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Academic Office Information


Research Interests

  • Risk Communication
  • Familial Melanoma
  • Treatment Adherence
  • Cancer Genetics
  • Pediatric Psychology
  • Clinical Child Psychology
  • Skin Cancer Prevention

Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology

Investigator, Huntsman Cancer Institute

View CV (PDF)

Dr. Wu's research focuses on fostering optimal health outcomes among youths (children, adolescents, and young adults) affected by cancer. Her work includes individuals who have a personal history of cancer and those who are at risk for developing cancer. The goal of this work is to support youths and their families in understanding their risk for cancer or other undesired health outcomes and in carrying out behaviors that will promote their health. Dr. Wu's ongoing research studies include testing new behavioral interventions to promote implementation of cancer prevention behaviors among children and their families, particularly to prevent skin cancer. In addition, Dr. Wu is co-leading a project to support COVID-19 testing among staff, students, and families in schools in Utah.

Dr. Wu has provided consultation and therapy services to medical teams, caregivers, and children, adolescents, and young adults with a range of chronic health conditions and in inpatient and outpatient medical settings. These services are provided to promote adjustment to the chronic condition, to improve self-management of the health condition, to facilitate communication between patients, families, and the medical team, to collaborate with medical teams to address psychosocial and adherence issues, and to address specific challenges impacting management of the chronic condition (e. g., behavioral problems, depression, anxiety).

Education History

Postdoctoral Fellowship Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Center for Adherence and Self-Management, Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology
Postdoctoral Fellow
Internship Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology
Predoctoral Internship
Doctoral Training University of Kansas
Clinical Child Psychology, Minor in Quantitative Psychology
Graduate Training University of Kansas
Clinical Child Psychology
Undergraduate University of California Berkeley

Selected Publications

  1. Bowers JM, Hamilton JG, Wu YP, Moyer A, Hay JL (2021). Acculturation, sun tanning behavior, and tanning attitudes among Asian college students in the northeastern USA. Int J Behav Med.
  2. Nagelhout ES, Lensink R, Zhu A, Parsons BG, Haaland B, Hashibe M, Grossman D, VanDerslice J, Gren LH, Jensen JD, Wu YP (2021). Higher ultraviolet radiation exposure among rural-dwelling versus urban-dwelling adults and children: Implications for skin cancer prevention. J Community Health, 46(1), 147-155.
  3. Wu YP, Boucher K, Hu N, Hay J, Kohlmann W, Aspinwall LG, Bowen DJ, Parsons BG, Nagelhout ES, Grossman D, Mooney K, Leachman SA, Tercyak KP (2020). A pilot study of a telehealth family-focused melanoma preventive intervention for children with a family history of melanoma. Psychooncology, 29(1), 148-155.
  4. Nagelhout ES, Parsons BG, Haaland B, Tercyak KP, Zaugg K, Zhu A, Harding G, Yancey J, Jensen JD, Grossman D, Wetter DW, Wu YP (2019). Differences in reported sun protection practices, skin cancer knowledge, and perceived risk for skin cancer between rural and urban high school students. Cancer Causes Control, 30(11), 1251-1258.
  5. Wu YP, Deatrick JA, McQuaid EL, Thompson D (2019). A primer on mixed methods for pediatric researchers. J Pediatr Psychol, 44(8), 905-913.
  6. Wu YP, Herbert LJ, Walker-Harding LR, Tercyak KP (2019). Introduction to the special issue on child and family health: the role of behavioral medicine in understanding and optimizing child health. Transl Behav Med, 9(3), 399-403.
  7. Wu YP, Parsons BG, Nagelhout E, Haaland B, Jensen J, Zaugg K, Caputo H, Lensink R, Harding G, Yancey J, Klein SZ, Leachman SA, Tercyak KP (2019). A four-group experiment to improve Western high school students' sun protection behaviors. Transl Behav Med, 9(3), 468-479.
  8. Coffin T, Wu YP, Mays D, Rini C, Tercyak KP, Bowen D (2019). Relationship of parent-child sun protection among those at risk for and surviving with melanoma: Implications for family-based cancer prevention. Transl Behav Med, 9(3), 480-488.
  9. Pannier ST, Mann K, Warner EL, Rosen S, Acharya A, Hacking C, Gerdy C, Wright J, Wu YP, Kirchhoff AC (2019). Survivorship care plan experiences among childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients and their families. BMC Pediatr, 19(1), 111.
  10. Petersen J, Koptiuch C, Wu YP, Mooney R, Elrick A, Szczotka K, Keener M, Pappas L, Kanth P, Soisson A, Kohlmann W, Kaphingst KA (2018). Patterns of family communication and preferred resources for sharing information among families with a Lynch syndrome diagnosis. Patient Educ Couns, 101(11), 2011-2017.
  11. Ou JY, Smits-Seemann RR, Wu YP, Wright J, Kirchhoff AC (2017). An investigation of survivorship clinic attendance among childhood cancer survivors living in a five-state rural region. J Cancer Surviv, 12(2), 196-205.
  12. Yi J, Kim MA, Parsons BG, Wu YP (2018). Why did I get cancer? Perceptions of childhood cancer survivors in Korea. Soc Work Health Care, 57(4), 300-314.
  13. Wu YP, Nagelhout E, Aspinwall LG, Boucher KM, Parsons BG, Kohlmann W, Kaphingst KA, Homburger S, Perkins RD, Grossman D, Harding G, Leachman SA (2017). A novel educational intervention targeting melanoma risk and prevention knowledge among children with a familial risk for melanoma. Patient Educ Couns, 101(3), 452-459.
  14. Beal SJ, Tillery R, Wu YP, Thompson AN, Pai A (2017). Future orientation in adolescent and young adult cancer survivors and unaffected peers. Psychooncology, 27(3), 1078-1081.
  15. Soisson S, Ganz PA, Gaffney D, Rowe K, Snyder J, Wan Y, Deshmukh V, Newman M, Fraser A, Smith K, Herget K, Hanson HA, Wu YP, Stanford J, Werner TL, Setiawan VW, Hashibe M (2017). Long-term, adverse genitourinary outcomes among endometrial cancer survivors in a large, population-based cohort study. Gynecol Oncol, 148(3), 499-506.
  16. Wu YP, Kohlmann W, Curtin K, Yu Z, Hanson HA, Hashibe M, Parsons BG, Wong J, Schiffman JD, Grossman D, Leachman SA (2017). Melanoma risk assessment based on relatives' age at diagnosis. Cancer Causes Control, 29(2), 193-199.
  17. Ou JY, Fowler B, Ding Q, Kirchhoff AC, Pappas L, Boucher K, Akerley W, Wu Y, Kaphingst K, Harding G, Kepka D (2018). A statewide investigation of geographic lung cancer incidence patterns and radon exposure in a low-smoking population. BMC Cancer, 18(1), 115.
  18. Wu YP, Linder LA, Kanokvimankul P, Fowler B, Parsons BG, Macpherson CF, Johnson RH (2018). Use of a smartphone application for prompting oral medication adherence among adolescents and young adults with cancer. Oncol Nurs Forum, 45(1), 69-76.
  19. Reblin M, Wu YP, Pok J, Kane L, Colman H, Cohen AL, Mendivil E, Warner EL, Meyer M, Agutter J (2017). Development of the electronic social network assessment program using the center for eHealth and wellbeing research roadmap. JMIR Hum Factors, 4(3), e23.
  20. Nagelhout E, Comarell K, Samadder NJ, Wu YP (2017). Barriers to colorectal cancer screening in a racially diverse population served by a safety-net clinic. J Community Health, 42(4), 791-796.
  21. Wu YP, Mays D, Kohlmann W, Tercyak KP (2017). Pediatric predispositional genetic risk communication: Potential utility for prevention and control of melanoma risk as an exemplar. . J Genet Couns, 26(5), 887-893.
  22. Smits-Seemann RR, Kaul S, Zamora ER, Wu YP, Kirchhoff AC (2016). Barriers to follow-up care among survivors of adolescent and young adult cancer. J Cancer Surviv, 11(1), 126-132.
  23. Wu YP, Aspinwall LG, Nagelhout E, Kohlmann W, Kaphighst KA, Homburger S, Perkins RD, Grossman D, Harding G, Cassidy P, Leachman SA (2016). Development of an educational program integrating concepts of genetic risk and preventive strategies for children with a family history of melanoma. . J Cancer Educ, 33(4), 774-781.
  24. Wu YP, McPhail J, Mooney R, Martiniuk A, Amylon MD (2016). A multisite evaluation of summer camps for children with cancer and their siblings. J Psychosoc Oncol, 34(6), 449-459.
  25. Zeller MH, Becnel J, Reiter-Purtill J, Peugh J, Wu YP (2016). Associations among excess weight status and tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use in a large national sample of early adolescent youth. Prev Sci, 17(4), 483-92.
  26. Wu YP, Hung M, Franklin JD, Samhouri M, Simons LE, Amylon MD (2015). Validation of a measure of children's perceptions of their oncology camp experience: a national study. [Letter to the editor]. Psychooncology, 25(1), 112-4.
  27. Wu YP, Aspinwall LG, Michaelis TC, Stump T, Kohlmann WG, Leachman SA (2015). Discussion of photoprotection, screening, and risk behaviors with children and grandchildren after melanoma genetic testing. J Community Genet, 7(1), 21-31.
  28. Wu YP, Yi J, McClellan J, Kim J, Tian T, Grahmann B, Kirchhoff AC, Holton A, Wright J (2015). Barriers and facilitators of healthy diet and exercise among adolescent and young adult cancer survivors: Implications for behavioral interventions. J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol, 4(4), 184-191.
  29. Wu YP, Pai AL (2014). Health care provider-delivered adherence promotion interventions: a meta-analysis. Pediatrics, 133(6), e1698-707.
  30. Wu YP, Hommel KA (2014). Using technology to assess and promote adherence to medical regimens in pediatric chronic illness. J Pediatr, 164(4), 922-7.
  31. Wu YP, Steele RG (2013). Predicting health-related quality of life from the psychosocial profiles of youth seeking treatment for obesity. J Dev Behav Pediatr, 34(8), 575-82.
  32. Wu YP, Rohan JM, Martin S, Hommel K, Greenley RN, Loiselle K, Ambrosino J, Fredericks EM (2013). Pediatric psychologist use of adherence assessments and interventions. J Pediatr Psychol, 38(6), 595-604.
  33. Wu YP, Aylward BS, Steele RG (2010). Associations between internalizing symptoms and trajectories of medication adherence among pediatric renal and liver transplant recipients. J Pediatr Psychol, 35(9), 1016-27.
  34. Wu YP, Roberts MC (2008). A meta-analysis of interventions to increase adherence to medication regimens for pediatric otitis media and streptococcal pharyngitis. [Review]. J Pediatr Psychol, 33(7), 789-96.